What’s next for Plattsburgh’s Crete Center?
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Plattsburgh city councilors last month voted to move forward with the demolition of the Crete Center. Now, community members and organizations who used the space are left wondering what’s next?
The facility closed following an electrical fire nearly eight months ago. Since then, it has sat empty. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with this property,” said Councilor Elizabeth Gibbs. “I really don’t.”
Gibbs was one of two councilors who voted against the demolition. “We pushed through this vote and I had a whole list of questions about the contractor, [I] never got any of those questions answered,” she said. “It’s just not good government.”
Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest pushed for the demolition. He says repairs would cost $3 million, while demolition is approximately $385,000. He adds the facility has been running a deficit for some time. “At the end of the day, I think the city netted or ran a deficit of about $50,000 a year to operate that building,” he said.
The closure of the Crete Center came at a cost to several community organizations including Adirondack Coast Sports. They’re renting space at the Plattsburgh YMCA until March. After that, they need to find something permanent. “We had about 4,300 or 4,400 people a week in and out of that building,” said Steve Peters, group’s founder. “But we’re just not seeing the numbers here because of those changes.”
As for what happens to the property, Rosenquest says there are no plans to sell the parcel, but that they may explore suggestions made in a 2016 waterfront feasibility study. “Including some type of amphitheater or some type of performance venue,” he said. “Whether or not the future of that property is to host that type of facility is unknown.”
Until city officials discuss it further, it’ll remain an empty portion of waterfront property. “I don’t know what to envision here, because to build something else would require a tremendous amount of money we don’t have and won’t have,” Gibbs said.
“My goal at this point is to look forward and not backward,” Peters said. “I don’t bear the burden of the difficult decisions the city has had to make, they do and history is going to judge them appropriately.”
Rosenquest says they hope to start demolition on the building by spring.
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